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Ethel the Blog
Observations (and occasional brash opining) on science, computers, books, music and other shiny things that catch my mind's eye. There's a home page with ostensibly more permanent stuff. This is intended to be more functional than decorative. I neither intend nor want to surf on the bleeding edge, keep it real, redefine journalism or attract nyphomaniacal groupies (well, maybe a wee bit of the latter). The occasional cheap laugh, raised eyebrow or provocation of interest are all I'll plead guilty to in the matter of intent. Bene qui latuit bene vixit.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2002

YAFL
Rocklopedia Fakebandica (via Cheek) may be the list of the year.
Behold the glory that is the ROCKLOPEDIA FAKEBANDICA, seventh revised, unabridged edition! Finally, all the fictional bands and singers from TV and movies listed in one convenient, scarily obsessive place. Why? It's the Internet, stupid! The Internet was created for such things as this! And now we have hit the 400 mark!

posted by Steven Baum 12/3/2002 02:00:51 PM | link

PROBABLE CABAL EXTORTION
Thinking It Through (via Atrios) writes of the John DiIulio situation.
...
My guess is that folks in the Bush Administration told the administrators at Penn U that if they wanted any student intern experiences in the executive branch or for Republican legislators in congress, they'd better get DiIulio to recant. That sort of pressure will make an administration react. If an administration fears that DiIulio's statements are going to lead to their students being blackballed, they'd put pressure on him to recant. They might even write the statement and get DiIulio to sign it. I suspect that is the game being played here. It's not fair and it's certainly not in any way recognizing DiIulio's right to free speech, but that's what I think is going on.

What makes DiIulio's statements disowning his remarks even more bizarre is that he's on the record making them -- even writing this editorial that ran Sunday in the Philadelphia Inquirer. He clearly believes these things but is being pressured to retract them.

I feel sorry for the guy. He tried to tell us what was really going on in this administration and is now being treated in the shabbiest way possible by his former pals. I'm sure it's been pretty disillusioning for him.

But, hey, welcome to W's administration. This is the sort of malevolence that exists behind that smile folks.

Changing the tone in Washington.

Right.


posted by Steven Baum 12/3/2002 01:55:31 PM | link

THANKS
I'd like to thank all who offered condolences about Shiva. The kind words helped me make it through a very difficult week, and will continue to lift my spirits as I make the transition to life without one of my oldest friends.
posted by Steven Baum 12/3/2002 01:48:28 PM |
link

SAME STORY, DIFFERENT BUSH
Joni James of the Miami Herald tells another tale of a Bush accidentally stumbling onto a corporate jet multiple times.
Seven times during his reelection bid, Gov. Jeb Bush climbed aboard a private jet owned by National Century Financial Enterprises of Ohio, the once-high-flying health financing group now under federal investigation for multibillion-dollar fraud, campaign finance records show.

Bush also raised money at the tony Port Charlotte estate of National Century's former chief executive and founder, Lance Poulsen, 59.

On Tuesday, as Poulsen's business dealings continued to make headlines nationwide, Bush said Poulsen is only an acquaintance.

''I've met him once in my life, that's my relationship with him,'' Bush said Tuesday morning, only to correct himself a few hours later, saying he had forgotten he actually talked to Poulsen twice -- both times at fundraisers.

Poulsen has not spoken publicly since Nov. 8, three days after Election Day, when he resigned from National Century amid allegations in a civil lawsuit that his mismanagement of reserve funds could cost institutional bondholders on Wall Street as much as $3.35 billion. Within a week, FBI investigators launched their own investigation, searching the company's Dublin, Ohio, headquarters.
...


posted by Steven Baum 12/3/2002 11:08:46 AM | link

SORRY, IT'S NOT AN OFFICIAL ROVE TALKING POINT
Lucy Komisar reports on yet more news you'll never hear from the "liberal" media.
Colombian journalist Ignacio Gomez told a roomful of America's most influential journalists Tuesday how Washington-supported Colombian president Alvaro Uribe is connected to drug traffickers and how U.S. military trainers helped organize a massacre in his country.

Among the 1,000 guests at the Committee to Protect Journalists' annual dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria grand ballroom were NBC's Tom Brokaw, CBS's Dan Rather, Time-Warner's Walter Isaacson, Reuters CEO Thomas Glocer and executives and reporters from the nation's major TV networks, newspapers and newsmagazines.

Gomez, 40, has twice gone into exile after death threats. The media "stars" applauded him for his courage. But did they put his revelations into print or on air? If you didn't see the stories he recounted in the American press, don't be surprised.

As they do every year at the CPJ event, "leading" U.S. journalists lauded the courage of people chancing death for telling the truth, but continue to pull punches in their own news organizations for fear of endangering their multi-million-dollar salaries.
...


posted by Steven Baum 12/3/2002 11:01:17 AM | link

"A BASIC DEVIOUSNESS"
Daniel Ellsberg has published some
more Nixon tapes transcripts on his web site. Here's a conversation from July 5, 1971 among Nixon, Haldeman and Ziegler that shows their deep and abiding respect for Jews. This, of course, doesn't make them anti-semitic since they don't criticize any official Israeli policies.
Nixon: Jewish families are close, but there's this strange malignancy that seems to creep among them - radicalism. I can imagine how the fact that Ellsberg is in this must really tear a fella like Henry to pieces - or Garment. Just like the Rosenbergs and all that. It just has to kill them. I feel horrible about it.

Ziegler: Could make up an English name.

Haldeman: . . . Rosenstein could change his name. . . .

[general laughter]

Ziegler: It is right. It's always an Ellsberg.

Nixon: Every one's a Jew. Ellsberg's a Jew. Halperin's a Jew.

Haldeman: Gelb's a Jew.

Nixon: But there are [unclear] - Hiss was not a Jew. Very interesting thing. So few of those who engage in espionage - are Negroes. . . . In fact, very few of them become Communists. If they do, they like, they get into Angela Davis - they're more the capitalist type. And they throw bombs and this and that. But the Negroes. - have you ever noticed? . . . . Any Negro spies?

Haldeman: Not intellectual enough, not smart enough. . . not smart enough to be spies.

Nixon: The Jews - the Jews are, are born spies. You notice how many of them are just in up to their necks?

Haldeman: A basic deviousness.


posted by Steven Baum 12/3/2002 10:48:17 AM | link

MORE CABAL THUGGERY
Robert Dreyfuss writes of how the Cabal suppresses internal dissent.
Even as it prepares for war against Iraq, the Pentagon is already engaged on a second front: its war against the Central Intelligence Agency. The Pentagon is bringing relentless pressure to bear on the agency to produce intelligence reports more supportive of war with Iraq, according to former CIA officials. Key officials of the Department of Defense are also producing their own unverified intelligence reports to justify war. Much of the questionable information comes from Iraqi exiles long regarded with suspicion by CIA professionals. A parallel, ad hoc intelligence operation, in the office of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith, collects the information from the exiles and scours other raw intelligence for useful tidbits to make the case for preemptive war. These morsels sometimes go directly to the president.

The war over intelligence is a critical part of a broader offensive by the party of war within the Bush administration against virtually the entire expert Middle East establishment in the United States -- including State Department, Pentagon and CIA area specialists and leading military officers. Inside the foreign-policy, defense and intelligence agencies, nearly the whole rank and file, along with many senior officials, are opposed to invading Iraq. But because the less than two dozen neoconservatives leading the war party have the support of Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, they are able to marginalize that opposition.

Morale inside the U.S. national-security apparatus is said to be low, with career staffers feeling intimidated and pressured to justify the push for war. At the State Department, where Secretary of State Colin Powell's efforts at diplomacy have thus far slowed the relentless pressure for war, a key bureau is chilled by the presence of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Elizabeth L. Cheney, the vice president's daughter, who is in charge of Middle East economic policy, including oil. "When [Near East Affairs] meets, there is no debate," says Parker Borg, who served in the State Department for 30 years as an ambassador and deputy chief of counterterrorism. "How vocal would you be about commenting on Middle East policy with the vice president's daughter there?" Undersecretary of State John Bolton is also part of the small pro-war faction.
...


posted by Steven Baum 12/3/2002 10:33:42 AM | link

Monday, December 02, 2002

CATHOLIC CHURCH DECLARES MORAL BANKRUPTCY
Supply your own story.
posted by Steven Baum 12/2/2002 03:14:57 PM |
link

REVENGE OF THE LIVING DEAD
It lives, and apparently it's going to head a commission to "investigate" the events of 9/11/01.
John Chuckman beat me to the punch in a column about a man who makes me really, really want to believe there's such a place as hell where sufficiently evil malefactors are punished for an eternity.
One by one, in the dead of night, they push ghastly, rotting fingers through dank earth in an effort to grasp something solid and pull themselves up from moldering graves, figures of long-dead flesh, blank-eyed, capable of no feeling save an unnatural hunger that animates and drives them shakily forward. They are the gruesome remains of an earlier time, mysteriously returned to life, once more to exercise their malevolent influence on the planet. They are the Bush appointments -- Cheney, Rumsfeld, Reich, and Poindexter.

And now we have the decayed bulk of Henry Kissinger again lurching into Washington.

Kissinger has been reanimated and assigned to study the causes of what he himself helped create, terrorism.

Well, you might say, if police can use a skillful, lifelong criminal to understand a crime, as they often do, why not use a grotesque monster to understand monstrous events?
...


posted by Steven Baum 12/2/2002 03:11:35 PM | link


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